3 Supplementing Internal IT Staff

Managed IT Support Services for Internal IT Support

Technology is complicated & the more technical resources a business can gain access to, is invaluable.  A small or medium-sized business can utilize an MSP partner to leverage internal capabilities & help develop a strategic IT roadmap.  Our Tech CFO, along with our technical staff, provides:

  • A deep dive into your business;
  • A discussion of the future business goals of your business;
  • The possibility of automating/streamlining processes, with the added benefit of reducing repetitive payroll costs, with technology;
  • Technical options that are 5-year solutions;
  • The required budget to achieve those goals.

Our attention to detail during these processesIt Support and Services Internal Team is invaluable to our clients.  The goal is to solve problems with technology & to reduce overall overhead.

We augment your existing staff skillset, and also provides an extra set of hands, to accomplish languishing projects.  Your business is assigned a senior engineer for your convenience, who provides continuity for your employees & IT staff.  All of our engineers are experts in their fields, personable & professional. 

Whether project-based or monthly fixed fee, we can help complete your projects with engineers that have decades of experience.

Areas of opportunity include, but are not limited to:

  • Help desk support – Our help desk support uses Tier 2 & 3 support engineers to solve problems quickly for greater productivity;
  • Specialty services such as upgrades or documenting your network;
  • Troubleshooting hard-to-solve problems;
  • Cyber security audits, enhancements & compliance;
  • Installing hardware & software;
  • Documenting your network.

inSync focuses on creative IT solutions that are also cost-effective.  Looking out for your bottom line is unique to our company.  It’s just one of our many unique differences from other MSPs.

Top 5 Threats To Network Security

Man Fixing Server Room

Network security is becoming an increasingly important issue for companies of all sizes, & the threats to cyber security are real. Let’s examine the top ten network security dangers to your business:

1. Malware/Ransomware

Ransomware Attack

What is Ransomware?  Ransomware is a malware designed to encrypt all computer files & backups.  A ransom payment is demanded in return for the decryption key.  Cyberattackers can be in your systems for months, learning about your network & computer files.  The attacker's place organizations in a position where paying the ransom may be the easiest, cheapest & fastest method to regain access to their computer files.

Every 14 seconds, a business is hit by a ransomware attack. These ransomware attacks are increasing by more than 350% per year, with IoT attacks increasing by 217.5% year over year (YoY) from 2017 to 2018.The introduction of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, allows hackers to demand ransoms anonymously, sparking this tremendous spike in ransomware.

2. Botnets

A botnet is a network of computers infected with malware that are controlled by a bot herder. The bot herder is the person who operates the botnet infrastructure and uses the compromised computers to launch attacks designed to crash a target's network, inject malware, harvest credentials or execute CPU-intensive tasks. These vast networks of infected machines can be controlled remotely & exploited to launch huge attacks.

Common Types of Botnet Attacks:

  • Phishing attacks
  • Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks
  • Brute force attacks

3. Computer Viruses & Worms

The primary difference between a virus & a worm is that viruses must be triggered by the activation of their host; whereas worms are stand-alone malicious programs that can self-replicate & propagate independently as soon as they have breached the system. 

How Does a Computer Get a Virus?

  1. Sharing music, files, or photos with other users.
  2. Visiting an infected website.
  3. Opening spam email or an email attachment.
  4. Downloading free games, toolbars, media players and other system utilities.
  5. Installing mainstream software applications without thoroughly reading license agreements.

How Does a Computer Get a Worm?

Worms can be transmitted via software vulnerabilities. Or computer worms could arrive as attachments in spam emails or instant messages (IMs). Once opened, these files could provide a link to a malicious website or automatically download the computer worm.

Phishing Attacks on your Computer
4. Phishing Attacks

Phishing is a type of cybersecurity attack during which malicious actors send messages pretending to be a trusted person or entity.

Examples of sophisticated phishing attacks where the hacker gained access to their email:
An accounts payable clerk gets an email from a vendor that their banking information has changed, so a change has to be made for their electronic fund transfers (EFT).  The clerk asks that the request be on letterhead.  They quickly send over the request on letterhead.  The change is made & not discovered until the vendor asks for payment, a $400,000 financial loss.

Another example:
A controller was given a request, by the owner, to electronically send $300,000 to a new vendor & supplied the banking information.  This was not an unusual request but he sent an email to the owner to confirm, which he did.  It was not the owner.  Someone gained access to their corporate email & the hacker became familiar with the owner’s diction, manner of emails…

In both of these situations, a simple phone call would have stopped the fraud.

5. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service)

In a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, multiple compromised computer systems attack a target and cause a denial of service for users of the targeted resource. The target can be a server, website or other network resource.

What are the consequences of a successful DDoS attack? When a public facing website or application is unavailable, that can lead to a loss of customers, lost revenue & brand damage. When business critical applications become unavailable, operations and productivity grind to a halt.

Our approach to cyber security is to have multi-layers of solutions to protect our clients from attacks.  And it also has to do with budgets.  When businesses have not been attacked by hackers, their budget may be less than a business that has been attacked. Priorities change.  A preliminary list is:

  • Ensure all systems are updated
  • Segment and segregate networks and functions
  • Limit unnecessary lateral communications
  • Harden network devices
  • Secure access to infrastructure devices
  • Perform out-of-band (OoB) network management
  • Validate integrity of hardware and software
  • Establish control access to machines and systems
  • Continuous monitor network traffic
  • Cybersecurity training for employees.
  • Air-Gapped Cloud Backups Protect Against Ransomware
  • Phishing Training
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Multi-factor Authentication
  • AntiVirus /AntiSpam
  • Managed Detection & Response

inSync Computer Solutions IT Support & Network Security is tailored for your unique business & includes regulatory compliance strategies & services.

6 Common Types of Phishing

Phishing is among the most serious cyber dangers that businesses face. One of the most upsetting parts of this is that while most people understand what phishing is and how it works, many individuals are still caught off guard. Phishing attacks are becoming more complex, which has contributed to this. They still want to steal our personal information or infect our gadgets, but there is now a wide range of approaches to do so, which we will see, but first...

What is Phishing and How to Stay ProtectedWhat is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of attack to steal usernames, passwords, credit card information, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive data. Phishing is most often seen in the form of malicious emails pretending to be from credible sources like people, departments, or organizations related to your business.

Types of Phishing

  1. Basic Email Phishing

Email is used in most phishing attempts. The hacker will create a false domain that looks like a legitimate company and send out hundreds of generic requests. Character substitution is common in fake domains, such as putting 'r' and 'n' next to each other to generate 'rn' instead of ‘m’.

In other circumstances, the fraudsters construct a unique domain with a legitimate company's name in the URL. There are several methods to recognize a phishing email, but you should always check the email address of any message that encourages you to click a link or download an attachment.

  1. Spear Phishing

Spear phishing allows attackers to target you in a much more personal way. They personalize your emails using your name, position, business, work phone number, or other personal information that is publicly available online (usually through corporate websites or social networking platforms) to make you believe they know who you are. Their objective is to trick you into visiting a rogue URL or opening an email attachment, giving them access to your personal information.

  1. Whaling

Whaling is similar to spear phishing, but rather than targeting just an employee within a particular organization, whaling goes after the big ones. To focus on these high-profile members of the C-suite, they may spend months researching their targets, analyzing their routines, and mapping their relationships. The scam itself may last weeks. Hackers will wait to snare their target by first gaining trust through a series of back-and-forth exchanges.

  1. Smishing

Smishing refers to text messages sent to you with the intent of stealing your personal information. It's a good idea to double-check the number on your phone to ensure that it's legitimate and also check to see whether you have had any interaction with the company. Then, before responding to the message, you may review the number's previous actions.

  1. Vishing

Vishing is a phone call that is used to get your personal information. Before answering the phone, double-check the number to determine whether it is authentic. You should also determine whether you have any sort of relationship with the caller. Then, before replying, you may look up the number's recent activity.

  1. Drive-by Downloading

Ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading.  A drive-by-download is when a user visits a site, and a file download is initiated without the user's interaction.

This statistic depicts the leading causes of ransomware infections according to MSPs worldwide in 2020.

Cause of ransomware infection

Percentage of respondents

Spam/phishing emails

54%

Poor user practices/gullibility

27%

Lack of cyber security training

26%

Weak passwords/access management

21%

To protect our clients from phishing & ransomware, we offer the following:

  • Cloud Backup: Protect AgainstGet Protection from Phishing Scams with inSync Computer Solutions Ransomware
    Veeam Software: Offers data protection for the cloud, virtual, and physical environments.  Veeam software is now available in annual subscriptions making it more affordable for all of our clients.
    • Backblaze Cloud Backup: Veeam software provides immutable Cloud backups to Backblaze which offers ransomware protection.  Backblaze is also very inexpensive Cloud storage.
  • Phishing Training
    Phishing training is designed to increase awareness & improve employee responses to phishing attacks. Using tutorials and tests, phishing training helps employees to spot phishing emails and to know how to respond to these dangerous threats.
  • Vulnerability Assessment
    We are using Nessus software which provides the most accurate & comprehensive vulnerability assessment solution on the market. Nessus software automates point-in-time assessments to help quickly identify & fix vulnerabilities, including software flaws, missing patches, malware, and misconfigurations, across a variety of operating systems, devices and applications.
  • Multi-factor authentication
    An electronic authentication method in which a user is granted access to server(s), website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism: knowledge, possession, and inherence.

As your IT partner, we think it’s important to keep our clients aware of our offerings to increase your cyber security.  Every client’s sensitivity is different based on whether they had an adverse experience with cyber security.  We just ask that you consider these different options.

Phishing attacks are more common than you might think, but with the aid of inSync Computer Solutions, you can protect your company and employees against phishing assaults. We provide the best phishing defense services across Southern California. Get started today!

5 Ways to Protect Your Cloud Assets

Despite its fast expansion, the nature of cloud computing opens the door to severe cloud security breaches that may have a significant impact on a company. One of the most pressing problems for IT professionals is data security.IT managers need to secure themselves (and their companies) while allowing innovation, data access, and flexibility. Here are some tips that you can use to keep your company safe from cloud security concerns.

  1. Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Connecting to a virtual private network (VPN) safeguards your company's data and prevents eavesdropping. The data is encrypted and sent through the VPN server, preventing anyone without the appropriate decoder from seeing what you're doing on the internet.

As a result, anybody without a decryption key will be unable to view the data sent between the user device and the servers. Businesses use VPNs to connect their offices and share networks, as well as to access sensitive digital assets stored in cloud services.

  1. Create a Data Backup StrategyProtecting Your Cloud Assets

The likelihood of irreversible data loss is increasing as the cloud matures. Make sure you have a safe backup of your data in case something goes wrong (this is more about securing your business than your actual data, but provides the same peace of mind).

Develop a security platform that allows the organization to adopt uniform data protection standards across numerous cloud services. For further safety, IT managers should divide data and applications across many zones and follow best practices in daily data backup, offsite storage, and disaster recovery.

  1. Enforce Identity and Access Management Requirements

In a cloud-based telecommuting environment, platforms play an increasingly essential role. Since we can no longer see physically who enters our offices, we must rely on solid authentication and authorization technologies to confirm their identity and that they have the correct privileges to perform their duties.

  1. Take Passwords Seriously

Because files are zipped and password-protected, it's critical to use a strong password. The majority of passwords can be cracked in a matter of seconds.Although we have a habit to repeat passwords due to our inability to remember complicated credentials, don't fall into that risky category. Some common cyber security practices:

  • Use complex passwords
  • Set Minimum password length – Minimum 8, Maximum 14
  • Mandatory password resets
  • Restrict Password reuse
  1. Avoid Using a Public Internet Connection

Wi-Fi connections to the internet are widely available in many areas across the world. Although using a VPN might help in this situation, if you care about your digital assets, you should avoid using public connections frequently. The risks are many, far outweighing the advantages.A rogue Wi-Fi can be set up by a cyber attacker, and you will be duped into using it since it is free and hence does not cost you anything. Hackers can use the unprotected public internet to distribute malware that can directly target, infect, and destroy sensitive data saved on your devices.

We know that remembering and putting into practice all of these things can be hard, especially when you need to focus on your core business, but don’t worry! inSync Computer Solutions is here to help. We have the expertise to migrate, manage & maintain all of your servers in the Cloud securely so you don’t have to worry about anything. Contact us today!

Benefits of Managed IT Services

The way businesses operate and manage their day-to-day IT operations is evolving because of emerging services and new technologies. Hiring an IT support provider is the simplest and most efficient way to implement your IT services and technology. When you have a dedicated IT support team in place, you have immediate access to highly specialized expertise and resources, and it comes with many benefits.

Benefits of Managed IT ServicesReduce Operational Costs& Gain Access to Our IT Team

Your business can save a lot of money by outsourcing your IT environment to experts like inSync Computer Solutions. Managing systems with in-house personnel requires a lot of money while limiting your availability to technical solutions outside of their experience.   That practice adds little to no value to your company.

Our Managed IT Services offer so much more than traditional MSPs, & can capture your IT costs for the year.  Our MSP services include onsite & remote support.  It also includes off hours work such as server upgrades.  Our contracts are meant to be all-inclusive to avoid those “surprise invoices”.

Work with us & your business has access to our experienced team of engineers serving a wide spectrum of industries, from professional to industrial, & can introduce new cutting edge technologies to streamline processes & save money.

Security

Your company’s cyber security is very important to us.  We not only consider the external network security, but we also closely manage your internal cyber security.  We provide vulnerability assessments, phishing training, password protection, and internal & Cloud backups that protect from Ransomware…Our cyber security expertise is included in your annual service agreement.

Concentrate on your Core Business

Another significant advantage of outsourcing your IT operations to a managed services provider is the flexibility to focus on your core business. Outsourcing to an expert & seasoned MSP with years of experience removes the burden of making complicated IT decisions.  We have been a trusted IT partner for 28 years.

Faster Emergency Response Times

The secret to success in the MSP world is providing up-to-date equipment with a lot of redundancy, eliminating downtime.  However emergencies do occur.  Your employees cannot be slowed down by downtime or technical challenges in today's corporate world. It's critical to have immediate, 24/7 assistance to guarantee your team is productive.

inSync goes one step further:  During our business hours, we always have a qualified manager to handle phones for immediate service.  Emergencies are handled within minutes remotely, with a guaranteed onsite presence within 2 hours. 

Off hours, we have a qualified senior engineer on call – no receptionist taking a message.  We are a high tech company with old fashioned service that our clients appreciate.

If you are interested in IT services and support, inSync Computer Solutions is your best choice! We have provided tailored information technology support & services for businesses located throughout Southern California since 1994. Contact us today!

Why is Cyber Security Important?

As the number of cyberattacks continues to rise, so does the need for cybersecurity professionals to help businesses stay safe. As many individuals are concerned about cyber security, everyone must understand what it is & how it can stop an instance of a cyber attack.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is the act or process of preventing and recovering from cyber-attacks on computer systems, networks, devices, and programs. Attackers are employing new ways driven by social engineering and artificial intelligence (AI) to evade traditional data security protections. Cyber assaults are becoming a more sophisticated and developing threat to your sensitive data.

The truth is that the world is becoming increasingly dependent on technology, and this trend will continue. To prevent illegal access to client data while embracing new technologies, intelligent cyber security solutions should be utilized such as:

Cyber Security ServicesNetwork Security Monitoring Tools

These tools are used to analyze network data and detect network-based threats.

Encryption Tools

Encryption protects data by scrambling text so that it is unreadable to unauthorized users.

Vulnerability Scanning Tools

These software programs scan networks & systems to identify security vulnerabilities.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing, also known as “pen test”, simulates an attack on a computer system in order to evaluate the security of that system.

Antivirus & Antispam Software

This software is designed to find viruses, spam&other harmful malware including ransomware, worms, spyware, adware, and Trojans.

Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

Monitors network and system traffic for unusual or suspicious activity and notifies the administrator if a potential threat is detected.

Phishing Training

Cyber security attacks are getting more sophisticated, targeting specific personnel & C staff.  It’s essential to train your employees how to spot suspicious emails & report them.

Robust cyber security cannot be achieved by a one-off project to address current weaknesses and risks. It is a continual process that looks at the changing nature of your business and the threats it faces.

The Benefits of Cyber Security

  • Protects Your Business Reputation

Data breaches may be extremely damaging to your company's reputation. Every company in the market is fighting for the client's confidence above all else. Consider this: a big data breach might damage clients' faith in your company, or it could also result in an attack on your clients.

  • Website Security

A possible data breach could easily cause your website server to go down. A few minutes of loading delays might upset your potential consumers and cost you a lot of money. Keeping your website secure is a priority.

  • Improved Data Management

Your services and marketing strategy are built on data and analytics. Losing your data to a breach, such as ransomware, is a nightmare.  Having local & remote backups every day is essential to safekeeping data.  Having proven & deliberate backup strategies, before an attack, is essential for every business.

Good cyber security practices limit access to data such as critical consumer information or credit card information.It protects your company’s privacy while also increasing operational efficiency. Ultimately, this leads to increased productivity, time savings, and lead generation.

As you can see, Cyber Security is crucial for every company to have, and it is something that must be done carefully and with experts’ hands. That’s why every business should hire Cyber Security professionals to do the job and keep their data safe. Get the best services & solutions frominSync Computer Solutions. We are one of the best IT support companies in the Southern California area& will provide cyber security solutions within your budget. Contact us today!

How to Choose the Best IT Support Company

The IT support company you choose will be responsible for the safekeeping of all your data and infrastructure, so it is important to make sure that they have a good track record and have the skillset to meet your needs. They may offer many benefits for small and medium-sized businesses, but it is crucial to choose the right one for your business. Today we will share things to consider when looking for an IT support company so you can make the best decision for your business.

Experience

Experience is key for an IT support company to have credibility.  Although it may be tempting to go with a brand-new, up-and-coming firm in your area, it’s beneficial to look for a well-established company with years of experience, long-term references, and competence in technology management.  Here at inSync, we have clients that have been with us throughout our 28 years of business in managed services. Experience the inSync difference.

LocationHow to Choose the Best IT Support Company

With remote & onsite IT support, choosing a service close to your business is not as relevant as it has been in the past.  Many IT providers specialize in only remote IT support, onsite being the exception.  While others take a more personalized approach with onsite IT support. However, if there is ever an emergency, every IT support company can remotely connect to your server for quick fixes.  It really depends upon the level of service and personalized attention that your business expects.

Response Time

When it comes to IT services, it is important to look for an IT provider that responds swiftly. It will be difficult for your employees to remain productive if your IT provider cannot handle problems quickly and efficiently. Inquire about the minimum time it takes them to react to a request and how long it will take them to resolve the issue. inSync handles emergencies remotely within minutes, with a guaranteed onsite presence within 2 hours.

Services

Before hiring a managed IT support team, think about your company's specific requirements. Start by making a list of your IT goals and inquire about how each managed IT support company would assist in meeting these goals. The company should create a unique plan with your business in mind. At inSync Computer Solutions, we offer affordable services, a dedicated senior engineer to work with and unparalleled customer service.

Customer Service

The importance of customer service is often overlooked in the process of looking for an IT support company but it should actually be a priority!  Are you able to get ahold of your IT support company immediately or are you sent to a voicemail service?  In case of emergency, how long does it take your IT partner to get back to you?  Are you provided weekend support? 

During our business hours Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm, inSync Computer Solutions always answers their telephone immediately, no voicemail.  Our weekend support is our on-call IT engineers – no answering service necessary.  We are a high tech company with old fashioned service.

Expert Team

IT support companies are frequently made up of teams, but you can't just hire any team. To ensure that you receive the greatest service, hire a company with a staff of qualified professionals. This will help you avoid wasting both time and money on a company that isn't equipped to handle IT issues.

All of our engineers are senior engineers with, on average, 10 to 15 years of experience.  They are easy to work with and dedicated to our clients.  We do not have any desktop engineers.  The reason is they take twice as long to resolve problems reducing our clients’ productivity.

Guidance, Budgets & Advice

When searching for a new IT support partner specializing in small businesses, look for an IT partner that helps watch your bottom line.  A partner that appreciates that your business has already purchased equipment that is stable and within its useful life, and will work with your current IT environment.

A partner that provides budgetary guidance for new purchases in the next year.  A partner that provides insight into technology that may streamline processes and save your business money.  A partner that embraces your unique business and does not feel the need to standardize your IT environment. 

Once you look out for these factors you can make sure you choose the best IT Support Company for your business. inSync Computer Solutions is the perfect solution for businesses in Southern California. We have over 28 years of experience providing high-quality IT services. Get started today!